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Ask customers what they think

There’s a funny YouTube video going around of a guy complaining about every business taking customer surveys. He objects that he’s not just allowed to experience life without being asked his opinion at every turn.

With satisfaction surveys present for everything from software to airport bathrooms, I take his point. So why should you do it for your business?

  • Only one in 27 unhappy customers actually complains.
  • 95% of dissatisfied customers tell others about their bad experiences.
  • The average Facebook user has 338 “friends”.
  • 40% of customers start buying from a competitor because of their reputation for great customer service.

Layered together, that’s all pretty good reason to determine if you need to clean up your own act. Because asking for customer criticism can improve quality control, customer experiences, and the bottom line.

Getting feedback needn’t be a big deal, either. Consider when my bride and I brunched last week. The check arrived with a card offering an incentive for us to offer our opinions.

It was a smart move, as our dining experience was still very much top of mind. Management asked us to voluntarily provide personal information (email, birthday), referrals, social media connections, and comments, good or bad.

For discussion’s sake, let’s assume they hand out 300 cards daily, one with each receipt. Let’s further assume 1/3 of all cards are returned with at least some information.

Let’s see…carry the one, multiply by my birthday…that leaves us 36,500 cards returned annually.

That’s potentially a lot of testimonials, referrals, and email addresses added to their database. Participating customers feel they’ve had their say, and management may find some interesting patterns of praise or complaint.

And the cost for printing those cards in bulk: about 5¢.

Meaning this company’s found an audience that’s interested in what they sell, would undoubtedly appreciate discounts and promotions and will share their experiences on social media.

I’d argue the chance to have a stronger relationship with them is WELL worth a nickel!

Regardless of what you sell, you too can benefit from customer feedback, new prospective clientele, and testimonials. It’s all probably as easy as asking a few questions to your existing customer list.

You just have to be brave enough to hear the truth and, if necessary, act on it.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

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